I have no idea how long I have been here. I have marked when I have been fed – eight times. I know that I have not been fed every day. I feel my strength ebbing. This is what they want of course. They want me to be weak.
I have sat in this room and laid in this room and walked around one way and the other. Today I spent laying on the floor looking up into the darkness. My hands have searched every crevice for a crack, a fault in the rock. For dirt that may lead to an escape. My hands are bloody from my attempts. I cannot see my fingers, but I can taste the blood when I eat.
Over the years I have faced the option of death many times. I lived through the War Against the Darkness. I survived the various warleaders and assassins. I survived battles that I should not have won. I escaped fate many times. It occurs to me that perhaps this time I will not. No one who loves me knows where I am. I am deep in the ground far from the light. Any who would come to find me would have to be able to come through the barrier which still kills everything but me. Survive the creatures that live in this place. And find me. It seems impossible.
Heroes are supposed to die in glorious battle or live happily ever after. So, I must not be a hero. Politicians are supposed to be assassinated or live a luxurious life and die in their sleep. I could consider this a form of assassination. Not one to which I am accustomed. I still might die in my sleep, but I wish I had thought ahead to have that luxurious life.
There is a certain irony that G’Quan. The one who fought Darkness. Who made it the mission of his life. Would die in an alcove so deep in the ground that no light could find him.
I think of all of the things I missed in my life. Decisions made one way when another option could have turned my life differently. I could have fathered children. I could have sailed the sea. I could have done so much. Yes I gave my life to Nar’Shal. I wish I had given part of my time to myself.
As I lay on the floor I think these sad thoughts. Now I realize that for every one of things I missed I had something I had experienced. How many people can say that they have left an everlasting impression on their society?
My name will last one thousand years. Others will come. They will save Nar’Shal. Perhaps the entire universe. The purpose lives on even if one dies. In my vanity I wanted to be important. I thought I would survive. That the universe would save me. Now I realize that every moment was my gift. My reward.
“Where are you, mother?” I croak. My throat is rough and dry. “Trusted friend? Where is your counsel now? I followed your advice into folly. At least you can give me a dream. A moment of peace.” I waste my energy and bodily fluids on useless tears. I am truly alone.
“I am sorry, G’Lan. You have always wanted to see me be wrong. Yet you have missed your chance. I will attempt to feel proper disappointment in your stead.”
For the first time I feel the oppressive weight of the rock around me. Feel the room close around me. A 4x6x6 box in which I was entombed. The song in my head is a dirge.
I am going to die.